Developing World Users as Lead Users: A Case Study in Engineering Reverse Innovation
Author(s)Judge, Benjamin M; Holtta-Otto, Katja Mia Marjaana; Winter, Amos G.
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This paper examines the “reverse innovation” of the leveraged freedom chair (LFC), a high-performance, low-cost, off-road wheelchair originally designed for developing countries. A needs study of 71 developed world wheelchair users was conducted through three different data collection efforts. These data were contrasted with studies of 125 developing world wheelchair users, who were shown to be lead users for their developed world counterparts. The GRIT freedom chair (GFC), the developed world version of the LFC, was designed based on results of the study. By recognizing developing country users as lead users, designers can reveal latent needs and create globally disruptive innovations.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Innovation in Product Development; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Journal of Mechanical Design
Judge, Benjamin M., Katja Hölttä-Otto, and Amos G. Winter. “Developing World Users as Lead Users: A Case Study in Engineering Reverse Innovation.” Journal of Mechanical Design 137, no. 7 (May 19, 2015): 071406.
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